The market for second-hand plant equipment is vulnerable to fraud and theft, and the industry must work hard to protect themselves against it; in 2016 alone 2996 stolen items of plant were reported by PANIU, the Plant and Agricultural National Intelligence Unit. Carrying out proper due diligence is essential to safeguard buyers, sellers and owners against criminal activity.
Cheffins, which hosts the world’s largest monthly tractor, machinery and plant sale, carries out scrupulous checks to ensure that the firm does not deal in stolen goods. To strengthen these checks, Cheffins is working closely with The Equipment Register (TER) and the two companies will host an open event to mark the collaboration at Cereals on 14th June 2017.
TER is now present at Cheffins auctions, checking all lots against its database, substantially reducing the chance of a sale of stolen goods. TER’s database is the largest in the United Kingdom for plant and equipment theft, with an average success rate of 1 in 11 searches resulting in a match.
TER Manager, John Deverell CBE, says, “We are delighted to be working alongside Cheffins and hope that our collaboration will encourage due diligence in the industry”.
Paul Claydon, Director, Cheffins Machinery Sales comments, “We have always run extensive security checks on any items which we sell through our auctions at Cheffins and only offer machinery from reputable vendors. However, by teaming up with TER, we can offer our purchasers another level of confidence that anything they buy through us is security cleared and has been checked both through the HPI and the police database of stolen equipment”.
Cheffins’ second hand machinery sales continue to thrive with sales up on average by 40 per cent month-on-month compared to last year. As Cheffins continues to dominate the market for sales of second hand machinery and plant equipment, increased security and use of TER are required to protect both vendors and purchasers.
An example of theft and its aftermath, was highlighted during the police’s Operation Mermaid when a stolen tractor from a farm in Somerset was recovered by police with the help of TER. The Somerset-based owner reported the tractor theft, which was then logged into TER’s database. TER informed the police of the theft who put this intelligence to good use by flagging down a transit vehicle and inspecting the machinery on board. TER enabled the police to identify a false number plate and altered stamped-in chassis and serial numbers. Without TER’s involvement the tractor would likely have found its way into a dealer’s or auction house yard and thence into the hands of an unsuspecting victim.